Howard Clark: Made his final Ryder Cup appearance for Europe at Oak Hill in 1995
Howard Clark believes Europe's lesser lights will have to play their part if Europe are to retain the Ryder Cup on American soil this week.The Englishman, who played in six matches between 1977 and 1995, feels every member of Jose Maria Olazabal's side will have to perform if they are to leave Medinah will the trophy still in their possession.But while much is expected of the likes of Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, Clark thinks the contributions from some of their less renowned team-mates will prove equally as crucial."I think the lower end of players (in the European team) need to play a little bit higher than they are at the moment," he told Sky Sports News Radio."Somebody like Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Peter Hanson, Francesco Molinari, Nicolas Colsaerts, they're all going to have to pull their weight this week."I think it's that lower order, if you can call it that, that are going to have to stand up and be counted."The fourball section, that's going to be very important for us, obviously the foursome is and the singles, but I think the fourball is where we can get overrun by birdies."Olazabal boostBut Clark also feels that the presence of Jose Maria Olazabal as captain could prove to be a huge advantage for the Europeans."The fact that our captain is so enthusiastic I think will prove to be like an extra man, I think Olazabal will prove to be an extra man," he continued."To be honest I don't really remember a captain saying anything so profound it made a difference to my game. All I knew was that if I was in the team I was expected to play as well as I could, never give up a shot and to always make your opponent win the hole."That is the basic essential of matchplay; you should never give a hole away, you should make your opponent win it."I think we've got some very steady players in our team and the Americans will have to go and win it with some very good play. We know they're vulnerable, but so are we - I think it's one of the tightest matches we've had for years."